MOOC. Another acronym to add to your collection. Stands for Massive Open Online Course. Translation: Free, online courses taught by experts in their fields, featuring professors from the nation’s most elite institutions of higher learning, the Murray Ledger & Times reports. If this sounds like some random, sci-fi daydream, think again. University of Kentucky recently signed on the dotted line, agreeing to a partnership with Coursera, a Silicon Valley-based provider of MOOCs. And UK is not alone; nine other public university systems have contracts with Coursera to offer students enrolled at multiple campuses courses for credit. Besides the University of Kentucky, Coursera’s new partners include the public university systems of New York, Tennessee, Colorado, Houston, Nebraska, New Mexico, Georgia, West Virginia and the Tennessee Board of Regents. … The opportunities offered by MOOCs are exciting. Not only is instruction provided by world-class professionals, the price tag is unbeatable. The burden is on the student, however, and those who sign up and then drift away gain nothing. Those who participate fully benefit from the learning that occurs and, in some cases, can actually earn credit.

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